Huawei Technology, the world's biggest maker of telecoms equipment, said Friday its 2016 sales rose 32 per cent from a year earlier but profit increased by only 0.4 per cent due to higher spending on research and marketing.

Huawei said it earned 37 billion yuan ($5.4 billion) on total revenue that rose 32 percent to 521.6 billion yuan ($75.6 billion).

Consumer sales, which includes Huawei's smartphone brand, rose 44 per cent to 179.8 billion yuan ($26 billion). Revenue for its carrier business rose 24 per cent to 290.6 billion ($41.8 billion) while enterprise sales gained 47 per cent to 40.7 billion ($5.9 billion).

Spending on research and development rose 28 per cent to 76.4 billion yuan ($11 billion).

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Huawei has the biggest R&D budget of any Chinese company. Selling and administrative costs rose 38.8 percent to 86.4 billion yuan ($12.5 billion).

Huawei, headquartered in the southern city of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong, is the biggest maker of network gear used by telephone and Internet companies and the No. 3 smartphone brand behind Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics.

Smartphone shipments rose 38.6 per cent last year to 45.4 million, according to IDC, a research firm.

It said Huawei has a 10.6 per cent share of the global market, behind Apple at 18.3 per cent and Samsung at 18.1 per cent.

Huawei is owned by its employees, with no publicly traded shares, but has reported financial results in recent years in an effort to allay security concerns in the United States and Europe.